When you’re on a boat, you’re literally surrounded by water. For a lot of boaters, fire is the last thing on their minds. However if it does happen, throwing a little salt water on some flames isn’t going to be very effective. It comes down to what’s on the boat: electrical wires and fuel are on board, which are heavily flammable.
Having Boat Insurance will help to cover the cost of damages after the fire, but it’s important to prepare prevention methods to help stop a fire in its tracks. Without preparation, things can go south very fast. This is how to prepare for a fire on your boat, courtesy of BoatUS.
Own a Fire Extinguisher
Having the appropriate amount of USCG-approved fire extinguishers on board is always the best route of preparation. In fact, the more you have on board, the better off you’ll be. Put an extinguisher near the galley, the engine compartment and all living spaces. To strategically place fire extinguishers on board could mean the difference between life and death. An additional unit in the cockpit will also prove useful.
If you’re using portable dry fire extinguishers, make sure they are replaced every six years. An extinguisher gauge should be checked monthly to make sure that it’s full. The worst thing that can happen is that you need an extinguisher and it happens to be empty. Use your old units to practice with family and friends how to use them properly. You don’t want to be in the middle of a fire and not be able to use an extinguisher to help.
How to Plan and Organize Your Safety
Many fires start in the engine room, meaning your first plan of action should be for there. The galley is another likely spot due to it being the area where cooking happens.
If you have a fire action plan in place, things will be easier for you and your crew. This includes having escape routes available for your crew and readily available diagrams posted across the ship. And it’s imperative for the crew to know the location for shutoff valves and electrical or fuel switches. Once you have the plans in place, make sure you thoroughly walk through them with your crew. Everyone needs to be aware of their purpose on the ship. Holding regular fire drills will help ensure that the crew and guests are always prepared for an emergency.
When There’s a Fire
If a fire occurs on a boat, the best thing that you can do is evacuate the boat and call 911. If you’re on the water, the plan of action is a little bit different. Self-reliance is key when you’re away from the shore. If you’re not near the shore, make sure you radio the Coast Guard using the VHF Channel 16. Letting someone know your status as soon as possible and having adequate boat insurance could make a world of a difference for your boat.
About Mariners Insurance
Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.